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Traveling advices needed for the Dordogne area

Traveling advices needed for the Dordogne area

Old Jan 27th, 2018, 11:24 AM
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Traveling advices needed for the Dordogne area

We will be traveling with our kids to the Dordogne area for 2-3 days this mid-April. I would like to know what places would you highly recommend going in the area given the limited time we have.
Also, we will be heading to Nantes by car on the last day, any recommendation on the city or hotel that we should stay? We prefer to stay close to the city/town where we can still wonder around at night (ie before 10.30p).
TIA

Last edited by NewHere; Jan 27th, 2018 at 11:26 AM. Reason: typo
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Old Jan 27th, 2018, 01:08 PM
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Please see your other thread:
Sites and hotel recommendation needed for Dordogne area
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Old Jan 27th, 2018, 04:27 PM
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First, how will you be arriving, via rental car? Also, how old are the kids? My first recommendation is Sarlat for its convenience to all points.
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Old Jan 27th, 2018, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by aliced View Post
First, how will you be arriving, via rental car? Also, how old are the kids? My first recommendation is Sarlat for its convenience to all points.
We will have rental car. My kids are 5-10.
Thanks so much.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 07:23 AM
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Sarlat is beautiful and small enough to wander around with the children. They will love the architecture since the high pointed roofs echo Disney motifs.there are caves nearby which may interest you.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 01:21 PM
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Of course don't miss the caves open to tourists -Les Eyzes area has several - including some easily accessbile.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2018, 01:36 PM
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"They will love the architecture since the high pointed roofs echo Disney motifs."

Oh. Brother. Where's the banging head against desk emoticon?

Pal, as I've posted several times recently, including on the OP's original thread, the only caves in Les Eyzies are Font-de-Gaume and Les Combarelles, neither of which can be booked in advance anymore and which let in only a handful of visitors daily. You need to be there super-early in the morning, grab a seat, and hope to be one of the few let in that day. And tours of Les Combarelles occur only once a day and are in French only.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2018, 09:32 AM
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Thanks. StCirq. You remain a valuable resource here.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2018, 10:06 AM
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St Cirq I should not have said caves for where we went -high on a cliff but hollowed out and real close to Les Eyzes. Sorry for not stating that right.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2018, 10:24 AM
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Probably La Roque-St-Christophe. A tremendous site, but definitely not a cave.

There are also several abris with sculptures at Castel-Merle, which is deep in the woods near St-Léon-sur-Vézère.
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Old Feb 18th, 2018, 12:31 PM
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Last edited by NewHere; Feb 18th, 2018 at 12:39 PM.
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Old Feb 18th, 2018, 12:32 PM
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Last edited by NewHere; Feb 18th, 2018 at 12:39 PM.
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Old Feb 18th, 2018, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by aliced View Post
First, how will you be arriving, via rental car? Also, how old are the kids? My first recommendation is Sarlat for its convenience to all points.
Originally Posted by kja View Post
Thank you so much. I wasn't sure if my question was posted correctly and ended up doing duplicate post. I'll check in the other post.
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Old Feb 18th, 2018, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
"They will love the architecture since the high pointed roofs echo Disney motifs."

Oh. Brother. Where's the banging head against desk emoticon?

Pal, as I've posted several times recently, including on the OP's original thread, the only caves in Les Eyzies are Font-de-Gaume and Les Combarelles, neither of which can be booked in advance anymore and which let in only a handful of visitors daily. You need to be there super-early in the morning, grab a seat, and hope to be one of the few let in that day. And tours of Les Combarelles occur only once a day and are in French only.

I'm really sorry for this really dumb question. Am I correct that these Font-de-Gaume and Les Combarelle caves mentioned here is different from the Lascaux II cave? Is the cave in the Lascaux area not worth seeing comparing to these two? I personally don't think we will be lucky enough wake up early and get in Font-de-Gaume and Les Combarelle. I'm wondering if the Lascaux would be good enough to keep the kids fascinated. Is it possible or necessary to buy the tickets in advance?

Thank you very much for all of your help. I have been busy both at work and home, and haven't gotten the time to check the responses. I really really appreciated all your help.
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Old Feb 18th, 2018, 03:26 PM
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What was dumb was another poster suggesting that a medieval town "echo'ed" Disneyland. Sorry, but that floored me. Your questions are not dumb at all.

Font-de-Gaume and Les Combarelles are two distinct prehistoric sites on the road just outside Les Eyzies on the road to Sarlat. They are both part of the same interior system of caves. They have nothing to do with the various Lascaux sites, though they date from the same periods. They are both, frankly a real PITA to get into these days, and the staff are becoming surly, probably because so many people show up thinking they can just buy a ticket and get in. Plans are to close themto the public permanently soon - but that's been the story for 20 years, so probably as long as they can get some tourist income from them, they'll stay open.

I know many people scoff at Lascaux II because it is a reproduction, and since Lascaux IV opened, plenty of people have whined about its glitz and the cost of entry and its lack of authenticity, but I've been around the Dordogne now for 26 years, have lived here permanently for almost 3 years, visit prehistoric sites often, and I am duly impressed by both Lascaux II and Lascaux IV.

I cannot imagine that you and your family will not be blown away by Lascaux,and I would urge you to see both Lascaux II and Lascaux IV, if you can.

I believe you can buy tickets, maybe even have to, for Lascaux IV, in advance. Check the Lascaux II site online for info about buying tickets (it changes periodically and I'm not current). Yoou either buy online or show up at the Tourist Office in Montignac to get tickets. If you encounter a problem, PM me and I'll help you figure it out. I'm traveling now in the Languedoc, but will be checking Fodors periodically.

Your kids might also enjoy the Grotte de Rouffignac - just a handful of chromatic arts, but a bear cave with lots of scratchings and engravings and skulls and such...and a little choo choo train to take you down into the subterranean treasures. You also might want to google Castel-Merle, a site that hardly anyone knows about but that can be wonderful for kids.
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Old Feb 19th, 2018, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
What was dumb was another poster suggesting that a medieval town "echo'ed" Disneyland. Sorry, but that floored me. Your questions are not dumb at all.

Font-de-Gaume and Les Combarelles are two distinct prehistoric sites on the road just outside Les Eyzies on the road to Sarlat. They are both part of the same interior system of caves. They have nothing to do with the various Lascaux sites, though they date from the same periods. They are both, frankly a real PITA to get into these days, and the staff are becoming surly, probably because so many people show up thinking they can just buy a ticket and get in. Plans are to close themto the public permanently soon - but that's been the story for 20 years, so probably as long as they can get some tourist income from them, they'll stay open.

I know many people scoff at Lascaux II because it is a reproduction, and since Lascaux IV opened, plenty of people have whined about its glitz and the cost of entry and its lack of authenticity, but I've been around the Dordogne now for 26 years, have lived here permanently for almost 3 years, visit prehistoric sites often, and I am duly impressed by both Lascaux II and Lascaux IV.

I cannot imagine that you and your family will not be blown away by Lascaux,and I would urge you to see both Lascaux II and Lascaux IV, if you can.

I believe you can buy tickets, maybe even have to, for Lascaux IV, in advance. Check the Lascaux II site online for info about buying tickets (it changes periodically and I'm not current). Yoou either buy online or show up at the Tourist Office in Montignac to get tickets. If you encounter a problem, PM me and I'll help you figure it out. I'm traveling now in the Languedoc, but will be checking Fodors periodically.

Your kids might also enjoy the Grotte de Rouffignac - just a handful of chromatic arts, but a bear cave with lots of scratchings and engravings and skulls and such...and a little choo choo train to take you down into the subterranean treasures. You also might want to google Castel-Merle, a site that hardly anyone knows about but that can be wonderful for kids.
Thank you SO SO SO SO much. These information are so useful. =)
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Old Mar 24th, 2018, 08:33 PM
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I need help again.
What are the hours open to tourist for the following places at Rocamadour:
- Chapelle Notre Dame
- Chapelle St Michel
- Basilica Saint-Sauver
- Palais des Eveques

I couldn't find tell from the websites.
Thank you all again.
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Old Mar 25th, 2018, 04:38 PM
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We loved the Gouffre de Padirac but it may be a little out of the way: you climb (or elevator) down into the earth, take a boat ride, then have a wander around a cave. Really cool. La Roque St. Christophe was a lot of fun. We also loved Ch teau de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle and it seemed super kid oriented.
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Old Mar 26th, 2018, 04:14 AM
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Unless there have been recent changes, all the sites in Rocamadour are open 9 am - 7 pm. Go early if you can; Rocamadour gets 1.5 million visitors a year and can be very crowded, though April shouldn't be that bad.

If you're going to be in Rocamadour, you should definitely take the kids to nearby Gouffre de Padirac, as noted above. And if you want to make this a full day of touring from the Dordogne, stop by Martel (the town of 7 towers) and Collonges-la-Rouge while you're in that neck of the woods.
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Old Mar 26th, 2018, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by StCirq View Post
Unless there have been recent changes, all the sites in Rocamadour are open 9 am - 7 pm. Go early if you can; Rocamadour gets 1.5 million visitors a year and can be very crowded, though April shouldn't be that bad.

If you're going to be in Rocamadour, you should definitely take the kids to nearby Gouffre de Padirac, as noted above. And if you want to make this a full day of touring from the Dordogne, stop by Martel (the town of 7 towers) and Collonges-la-Rouge while you're in that neck of the woods.
Originally Posted by nola77382 View Post
We loved the Gouffre de Padirac but it may be a little out of the way: you climb (or elevator) down into the earth, take a boat ride, then have a wander around a cave. Really cool. La Roque St. Christophe was a lot of fun. We also loved Ch teau de Castelnaud-la-Chapelle and it seemed super kid oriented.
Thank you so much. Gouffre de Padirac is on our list. I was thinking about stop by the Gouffre de Padirac first then head over to Rocamadour afterwards. But i was worried we might get distracted on the way, and want to make sure by what time we should plan to get there so that those sites are still open when we arrive there.

Thanks again for the information.
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